Swaddling is an age-old tradition. Wrapping up your tot, tightly in a cloth into a bundle to cease their movement is called swaddling. Even in hospitals, soon after the birth, the baby is packed into a bundle by the nurse and kept in a crib near the mother. A tradition as old as that has numerous benefits and thus is still in practice.
A swaddle is generally a square piece of cloth mostly made up of breathable and comfortable material like cotton. It is really important to make sure that the fabric is good for the infant so that they don’t feel suffocated. Here’s how to swaddle your tot into a burrito:
- Spread the blanket out flat, with one corner folded down.
- Lay the baby face-up with their head above the folded corner.
- Straighten their left arm, and wrap the left corner of the blanket over their body and tuck it between their right arm and the right side of their body.
- Then tuck the right arm down, and fold the right corner of the blanket over their body and under their left side.
- Fold or twist the bottom of the blanket loosely and tuck it under one side of the baby.
- Make sure their hips can move and that the blanket is not too tight. You can leave up to about two to three fingers gap between the swaddle and baby’s chest.
Although swaddling is really beneficial, it may become troublesome if not done right. Following are some of the dos and don’ts of swaddling:
- Do make sure to keep your baby on their back as sleeping on their stomach may increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- Do remember to keep their face uncovered as it may overheat them.
- Don’t use any unbreathable fabric as it can suffocate your baby as well as cause overheating.
- Don’t wrap your baby too tightly as it can be suffocating for them.
Now that you know how to swaddle your bundle of joy and the dos and don’ts, the following are a few benefits of swaddling:
- Sound sleep: Your touch makes your bundle of joy feel safe and comfortable. But you can’t hold them in your arms forever. Through swaddling they feel the warmth of your lap, thus making it comfortable for them to sleep peacefully.
- Helps with the Moro Reflex: Moro reflex is developed in babies after a few months of their birth. It’s a good indication which indicates that your baby’s motor reflexes are developing well. Although it is a good sign, it can disturb your baby’s sleep. Swaddling prevents them from startling themselves awake.
- Temperature Regulation: Maintaining a toddler’s body temperature is really important as it keeps on increasing and decreasing with the slightest change in the weather. Snuggling your little one in a swaddle helps with maintaining a regular body temperature.
- Helps Alleviate Colic: Colic is an episode of continuous crying in newborns. It can last from one hour to up to more than three hours, mostly occurring at night. Many parents feel helpless in such situations. Research has shown that swaddling can help alleviate colic.
- Swaddling keeps them happy: Many researchers have found that swaddling keeps a baby happy, as it soothes them mimicking the womb of their mother. It also triggers a relaxation mechanism in them. Besides this, it prevents them from Moro reflexes, keeping them from shocking themselves and crying.
Overall, when done right, swaddling is a boon for you as a parent. Most babies are required to be swaddled anywhere ranging from 12 to 20 hours a day. However, as a baby grows they should spend more time outside their swaddle. Albeit a gentle supportive swaddle till they reach the age of three months, while sleeping, is still necessary.